Even as hardware sales for Nintendo Wii decline, Ubisoft remains a strong supporter of the console. And why not? The Wii, despite its aging graphics and novel controls, is still the current-gen market leader with 90 million units sold.
That ability for Nintendo to reach mass markets is what has Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sold on the Wii predecessor, the Wii U.
"We are big believers in the Wii U, on two subjects," Guillemot told Gamasutra as part of a larger interview. "One is for high-end games, where we'll be able to do a game for the Wii U, but also for other [high-definition] machines, but also with specific use of [Wii U's] tablet. Two, is we like the Wii U for all the [potential of] casual games."
Ubisoft is known for getting onto new gaming hardware early, and maxing out support while the initial offerings are sparse. It's the same strategy the Paris-based publisher used for Nintendo's Wii and 3DS, as well as Microsoft's Kinect sensor, to name a few.
But Ubisoft has also supported Nintendo beyond launch. The publisher is one of the few third-party companies that has been able to find major multi-platinum success this late in the Wii's life, thanks to a focus on the mass market gamer.
"Today, the Wii still is 45 percent of our business," Guillemot said. "Just Dance, all those casual games, are selling extremely well. So we are supporting the machine because we believe Nintendo is going to push it to another level. We think [Wii U] will be successful."
"Now to [what audience] will it be addressed? We don't exactly know yet," he conceded. "But the potential of the machine, and the tablet [controller], I think is a good way to improve the potential gameplay. What we see is the ease of play is a part of the revolution we are seeing today. The fact that it's easier to access games is what can make more people play. Maybe they can do a good job there."
Gamasutra will have more from Guillemot in larger interview on Tuesday.